Broker’s need to ‘tool-up on tech’ to survive, says Matt Cottle CEO of Y3S Group, and he thinks he may have the solution…
I feel very lucky to be one of those people who has spent half of his life without the internet and half with it. If you share my age group you’ll know what I mean. We’ve seen the best, and worst of what it can do. Sure, life was simpler before, but now we have it, who can imagine making trips to the bank, or sitting with a travel agent to book a holiday or driving to an estate agents office to see photos of houses for sale? Or, even worse, NOT having Google. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a red-faced teenager in a garage trying to slip a copy of Men’s World into the Daily Mail!?
I love what the internet has to offer, how it saves time and money, and how quickly a person can complete tasks at lightning speed, especially if like me you like to accomplish myriad things in a day in a bid to drive your business forward as quickly as possible.
We’ve built and developed and fiddled around with many systems over the years in a bid to make our company go faster. Some have flopped at the first hurdle and others have helped us to generate millions of pounds.
As time lurches forward, tech becomes quicker and brokers have to invest, develop and move with it or their business risks certain death. However, what amazes me is that many specialist brokers are simply unwilling to put the cash into development, thinking that it won’t affect them, and that they can carry on with minimal investment in basic systems, doing things they way they’ve always done. The Internet can’t replace the human touch, right?
WAKE UP!!!! You cannot think like this, you cannot avoid the exponential speed of the Internet and the competition it brings and you will not survive if you think this way.
It may seem obvious, but at Y3S we invest heavily in powerful computers and highly skilled software engineers to create new systems that talk to each other to speed up the processes within the organisation, so that we can do business faster and more efficiently. Nothing is perfect; everything is a constant prototype and always evolving, so rarely is a product ever finished. It’s expensive, its hard work and its very frustrating, and we never quite know in which direction it will go next, but boy is it fun!
Which brings me onto our latest effort: for 6 months we have been working hard to build electronic links into our lender’s systems; API’s (application programming interfaces) allow us to use the magic of the internet to quickly transfer a client’s application to a lender in order to get a fully underwritten lending decision, with rates and repayments. Currently we can send one application to 5 lenders in less than a minute, a task that would take a fully trained underwriter around 2 hours, causing stress and at great expense for the business owner, not to mention the risk of losing the client, who wants answers now.
The technology has meant that Y3S has grown quickly and profitably throughout a period where most have struggled to find any growth or who have dwindled. It will soon allow us to transfer applications to up to 12 lenders in a mere mouse-click. Even better than that we are creating a version of our software (with the backing of our lenders) that will be provided to second charge packagers and mortgage brokers free of charge, exponentially increasing the speed at which brokers can work by providing faster, more accurate responses for customers. More business can be done more quickly, eliminating tedious rekeying is eliminated, less stress is placed on staff, freeing up their time to complete tasks that require human thinking and eventually we create a bigger market and increased prosperity for all brokers. Rather than everyone having to create their own version of this software, which would take forever, it makes sense to create one free product which becomes an industry standard for all involved.